After the epic bull run of 2017 people thought that 2018 was going to be the year of block-chain. Unfortunately, this prediction doesn’t turned out, 2018 ended up being the year of the bearish market. Since then A lot had changed and fortunately 2020 is truly shaping up to be the year of the bitcoin market.
With thousands of developers and hundreds of thousands of new users. Crypto is set to take off. and nowhere more so than in the following three areas.
Three Areas Where the Crypto Sector is Going to Grow the Most in 2020
International remittance is a multi-billion dollar industry. Which is going to revolutionized by crypto. It’s a sad fact that those billions in profits reaped by big banks and other payment institutions like Western Union largely come from fees charged to people who can least afford to pay them. The industry is ripe for disruption and crypto is promising a far better, far cheaper experience. There are two ways this can play out.
Firstly, individuals can take responsibility for their own transfers. They can buy Bitcoin or any other crypto-currency and use it to send money to their friends and family abroad. Or, in cases where there is poor financial infrastructure like the Philippines, crypto can even be an effective tool for domestic remittances. While affordable, the problem with this method is that it requires technical competency as crypto is notoriously unforgiving. One mistake and the funds are lost forever. That’s why a second option may prove to be more popular.
The second way crypto could become widely used for international remittance is via its adoption by existing companies. For instance, Ripple has begun working with MoneyGram. Using the XRP crypto-currency, MoneyGram hopes to make payments cheaper and faster. While the integration of XRP will be slow it will happen. For instance, already 10% of all MoneyGram transactions happening in Mexico are using XRP.
That’s just one crypto-currency and one company. Dozens of other projects are also working on improving cross border remittance and it’s all but inevitable that at some point the killer app will be discovered. At that point, hundreds of millions (billions) of people will end up saving money and fees thanks to block-chain-powered remittance apps.
DeFi or Decentralized Finance
One of the points that get raised over and over again whenever people speaking about block-chain is why would anyone choose crypto over something else? What could incentivize the average person to get excited about block-chain currencies? Well, DeFi is answering that question with their high interest rate “savings accounts.”
Traditional savings account typically offer clients an interest rate on their deposits that’s so low it’s basically a joke. For instance, rates can be as low as 0.05% and in a worst-case scenario, negative interest rates are even possible. In that situation, people literally get punished for saving money!
Thankfully the DeFi ecosystem, built on top of the Ethereum block-chain, is offering a much better alternative. With DeFi it’s possible to hold DAI, a stablecoin pegged to the US dollar, and earn from 6 to 10% interest. Those kinds of rates are simply unheard of in the traditional banking system but they’re now possible with crypto. Further, since it’s possible to earn interest with DAI, a non-volatile crypto asset, this kind of solution could appeal to tens of millions of people.
Again, the major block on adoption is awareness and security. Some people simply don’t know that these types of opportunities exist while others may be skeptical of them. That could change in 2020 though as more money goes into DeFi and traditional interest rates get even worse. When people look for alternatives they’re going to start looking to crypto. Thanks to platforms like Dharma, which recently introduced zero-fee DAI purchases with a debit card, opening a high interest “savings account” is easier than ever.
NFT stands for Non-Fungible Token. This is a type of token that cannot be duplicated or reproduced. So, for instance, a digital artist could create a painting and then release five copies with each represented by a single NFT. Anyone can now see that there are only 5 NFT tokens representing that painting which ensures that the art is scarce. It doesn’t have to be art, however. NFT can also be a crypto trading card, an in-game item or a digital animal like a Crypto Kitty. Even digital land, as seen in Decentraland, can be represented as NFT.
Throughout 2020 it’s expected that the NFT market will continue to grow as people realize the value of these non-fungible tokens. As opposed to traditional investing when you buy NFT the item is provably scarce, guaranteed to be authentic and it can be traded 24/7 between a buyer and seller anywhere on the planet.
It’s interesting to note that there are services that are built to help in proving the legitimacy of digital investing. For instance, Rocket recently originated a loan that used a plot of Decentraland as collateral. This is fascinating as it’s a great replication of the existing financial system which routinely uses a person’s house as collateral for a loan.
2020 is The Year of Crypto?
With the Bitcoin halving and the launch of Ethereum 2.0, the year 2020 is really shaping up to be a big thing for the crypto ecosystem. All sorts of interesting products and services, designed to solve real-world problems, are being launched. While cross border remittance is expensive and slow, transfers that use crypto are fast and cheap.
The interest rate for traditional savings accounts is unspeakably low, while DeFi lets its users earn 8% a year on a stable asset. Investing in art is expensive and the market is, for the most part, not open to small-time investors. At the same time with digital collecting anyone can participate and items can be bought at any price point from a few dollars all the way up to thousands of dollars. Nowadays more people realize the benefits of crypto-currency and the adoption is expected to continue.
Thank You for the Guest Post – Mary Ann Callahan